Pass on the art of song!

© Boasphoto / Mel Boas

We were pleased to welcome a new patron recently. In memory of his partner, he decided to pass on her love of art song to the next generation. This is what he wrote to us:

‘My late partner Helga Blankenstijn came from a musical family. Father played the piano, and mother sang. Therefore, she and her younger brother Edwin were stimulated in their musical education. Edwin chose violin and became a professional violinist. Helga took singing lessons at the conservatory, which initially went well. But after a year, her new professor discovered during the first lesson she could not read notes. Helga did not see the problem, "just sing it, and I will know", but that was beyond the thoughts of her teacher. In her willfulness, she threw in the towel.

During our time together, she expressed her regret more than once. And rightly so, I think, because she really had a beautiful speaking and singing voice. For a while, she sang in a men's choir(!) where the conductor had to keep her firmly in check, so her "dramatic" alto wouldn't stand out above all the guys.

After her sudden death, I came up with the idea of donating part of her legacy to support singers. That in her name, young people who have already overcome significant obstacles get supported to perfect their voice and singing ... Had my Helga known, she would have been surprised at first and then, laughing out loud, have agreed.'

The festival is hugely grateful to this generous benefactor for his support of the festival and the loving memory of his partner that it reflects.

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